Protection of your water supply from Backflow and Back siphonage

May 30, 2019by coldwright

Protection of your water supply from backflow and backsiphonage prevention is very critical when it comes to the plumbing systems in homes and businesses to prevent cross connections of toxic and non-toxic substances in the potable water supply. The reverse flow of non-potable contaminates or polluted water back into the domestic water supply due to negative pressure creating backsiphonage, or a higher pressure in a non-potable water line will cause backflow.  You as a home or business owner must protect your drinking water system and the health of your neighbors, employees, and customers by preventing or protecting of all cross connections on your premises on the plumbing water supply system.

Homes are losing protection of your water supply with backsiphonage and backflow with these type of factors:

  • A toilet flush valve without an anti-siphon device can cause toilet odors, vapors and more importantly get into your household plumbing and water supply you drink.
  • If a garden hose is used to clean out sewer lines or rain gutter downspouts, a drop in pressure can cause contamination from those sources to be drawn back into your water supply.
  • Similarly, water being used to fill a swimming pool can be drawn back into the water supply during pressure drops, bringing contamination with it.
  • If an insecticide attachment is used on a garden hose, backflow can cause potentially lethal contamination of your water supply.

Preventive  protection of your  water supply in homes for  backsiphonage and backflow include:

  • Providing adequate height between the anti-siphon ballcock and the overflow on the flush valve; the critical level should be a minimum of 1 inch inside of tank.
  • Older homes with sillcocks for hose bibs and hydrants on the water supply should be replaced with a frost free anti siphon hose bib or a hose connection mechanical vacuum breaker to their sillcocks. These types of mechanical vacuum breakers are also ideal for inside and outside, health hazard installations requiring non-continuous pressure such as service sinks, swimming pools, photo developing tanks, laundry tubs, wash racks, dairy barns, marinas, and general outside gardening uses on the water supply system.
  • Even though some plumbing fixtures and devices have built in anti-siphon protection; the installer will have to provide adequate minimum air gaps of the installation on dishwashers, tub spouts, washing machines, etc, for the protection on your water supply system.

Businesses and commercial buildings have even more potential ways of a cross connection by means of backsiphonage and backflow on the water supply. All backflow prevention assemblies must be both State approved and provide the appropriate protection for the degree of hazard present. To prevent contamination before it occurs by ensuring that City and County businesses comply with all relevant City, County and State codes. Devices installed in a building potable water supply system for protection against backflow shall be maintained in good working order to protect against backsiphonage and backflow for its employees, commercial customers, and the public and are reasonable for maintaining the devices; these are checked annually for inspection for proper protection.

Protection in commercial buildings and businesses against backsiphonage and backflow by means of installing devices such as mechanical vacuum breakers, atmospheric vacuum breakers, pressure type vacuum breakers, and reduced pressure backflow preventers, and double check backflow preventers on the water supply potable system to prevent a cross connection.

These type of devices should be when you need protection of your water supply against backsiphonage and backflow on the potable water supply system:

  • Low inlet to receptacles containing toxic substance like storage, container tanks and plumbing fixtures
  • Low inlet to receptacles containing non-toxic substances such as steam, air, food and beverages
  • Outlets with hose attachments such as hose bibs, mob sinks, service sinks, clinical sinks
  • Make up water for boilers, chill water systems and cooling towers
  • After meter connections of lawn and fire sprinklers on the potable water supply system
List of businesses that are associated with backsiphonage and backflow:
  • Any commercial buildings 3 stories or taller
  • Manufacturing and process faculties and warehouses
  • Any commercial building space with dedicated fire protection sprinkler systems
  • Multi-tenant retail spaces
  • Restaurants
  • Ice Cream Parlors
  • Medical office buildings
  • Beauty and nail salons
  • Dry Cleaners
  • Car Washes
  • Funeral Homes
  • Churches and child daycare centers

All backsiphonage and backflow devices against hazardous cross connections on potable water supply system should only be installed and inspected by a professional certified and licensed person to protect our well-being in  homes and businesses of a plumbing system for a better protection of your water supply.

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